Friday, August 31, 2018

Torn (Story Ballads) by Mia Kerick

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Vinny Bucci and Tommy Stecker are almost cousins. (Their mothers call themselves “sisters of the heart,” so that sort of makes them cousins, doesn’t it?) Since childhood, they’ve shared holidays and Sunday services and their passion for soccer. But now they’re eighteen, high school seniors, and what has always been devoted friendship—the next best thing to family—has started to feel like something else. Something more….

Unfortunately, the Steckers can’t accept their son’s same-sex romance, and upon recognizing the teens’ mutual attraction, they push Tommy into dating a girl from church, then compel him to attend a Christian College far away from Vinny’s school. The Buccis and the Steckers—once a family of choice—clash over what’s right and go their separate ways.

Forced into separation, Vinny and Tommy are both devastated, but while Vinny hardens his heart to love, halfway across the country Tommy becomes emotionally and physically ill. Their passion for each other hasn’t diminished, let alone died, but they lose contact, and for the first time in their lives learn what it is to live with a broken heart.

Will Tommy and Vinny find their way back to each other, or will they accept the rules dictated by family and try to live severed lives, their love forever unfulfilled?

A Mature Young Adult Romance

My Rating - 5 Stars!

Torn, by Mia Kerick is a gut-wrenching, emotional ride by Mia Kerick of the best kind, one that will result in having your heart torn to shreds.

Tommy and Vinny have grown up together, with their families the best of friends. They are also very attracted to each other.

Tommy's mom sees that they have feelings, and force them apart, controlling Tommy's life more than ever. They are not allowed to hang out and the families are no longer friends. While he's trying to figure out which path in life he's going to take, Vinny is left to suffer. 

Tommy is torn between being what his parents want him to be and what he wants to be. His parents are ultra religious and homophobic, and are forcing him to live a certain kind of life.

It is heartbreaking, absolutely ridden with sadness. But it is an amazing story! It is as compelling as it is painful. It is as emotional as it is accomplished. It is everything I could possibly ask for in a book, so gripping that I can't put it down for even a second.

Torn is a book that will make you feel. It is a young adult, coming of age story, that will pull at your heartstrings. Basically, go read it! I love this tale by Mia Kerick! 

GRL 2018 SPOTLIGHT - Lynn Lorenz - New Orleans Second Lines

In my attempt to cover some of the attending authors for this year's GRL,
I am reviewing 

Lynn Lorenz's New Orlands Second Lines!


Matt and Lane grew up together, best friends, sharing almost all their secrets. But on the last day of college, those secrets spilled in one night of passion and tore them apart, sending Matt to the West Coast and Lane home to New Orleans.

Now, Hurricane Katrina is set to destroy New Orleans. This might be the worst time to try for a second chance, but nothing can keep Matt from Lane. The man he let get away.

For Lane, no hurricane can pry him from the city, especially without Sebastian. The older man has been a dear friend and his landlord since Lane returned from college. Sebastian refuses to flee, preferring to stay in his Creole cottage in the French Quarter and ride out the storm.

Sebastian’s life becomes intertwined with Lane’s, as Matt finds out when he’s drawn into capturing Sebastian’s memoirs of being gay in New Orleans. The elder gentleman’s stories are full of surprises and lessons for the young men.

The most important ones Sebastian teaches them—and himself—are that second chances don’t come along often, and you’re never too old to fall in love.

First Edition published as Pinky Swear, Pioneers, and C'est La Vie by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2010.

My Rating -  5 Stars!

New Orleans Second Lines is my first time reading Lynn Lorenz. I am thrilled that I  decided to check out this 2018 GRL author.

This story is a dual romance, starting with Matt and Lane, and then focusing on Sebastian's love life.

We meet Matt and Lane as kids and follow them through the years. Their story sucked me in immediately. It made me cry, smile, cheer, and scream, as they both loved each other but couldn't tell one another. 

Later we meet Sebastian and experience some of Hurricane Katrina as he and Matt stay behind in New Orleans to fight out the storm. This part is so damn tough to read, as it is just brings us back to the awful things we saw in  the news about this historic and catastrophic storm. 

Lynn's writing is fantastic as she makes us experience New Orleans, it's character and charm, as well as the devastation through these character's eyes. It is extremely atmospheric and remarkable written, as she definitely was able to write this beautiful and famous city as a character in itself.

Later on, we get to follow Sebastian's journey to  finding a second chance at love. After losing his ex years ago to AIDS, he hasn't even considered looking for someone or having sex, in years. This part of the book is also well written, as we are able to feel everything Sebastian is feeling. And, his journey towards love again is beautiful!

And, as if I wasn't already feeling all the emotions, the relationship between Matt and Sebastian is phenomenal. Sebastian is like a grandfather to Sebastian and treats him nicer than most even treat any of their family. 

After reading New Orleans Second Line, I will definitely need to look into more of Lynn Lorenz's books, and this one is just lovely!

Lynn Lorenz

I’m from New Orleans, that’s N’awlins for those of you who speak the language. I grew up in the Riverbend, or Carrollton, for the old timers, but was a Quarter rat from the age of 11, taking 3 buses to go to art class on Burgundy Street at the Cabrini Doll Museum and NORD center. I attended University of New Orleans and have a BA in Fine Art. My mother worked at Tulane University, six blocks from our house and when we were kids my brother and I parked cars in our driveway for the Saints games at Tulane Stadium. We could get six cars down the drive, two on the front lawn, and two on the street and we only charged $2 a car. We made enough to buy a coupla roast beef po’boys at Comeaux’s on Hickory St. and a snowball over at Williams Snow Ball Stand. We lived 1/2 a block from a cemetery, but doesn’t everyone in N’awlins? We used to watch jazz funerals from our front porch.

Now, my family lives in Katy, Texas. I have a “real” job, a truly supportive and understanding husband, two incredible kids, and a slightly neurotic dog. We used to have a guinea pig, but the dog killed it. Did I say slightly?

My son is 15 and has Asperger’s Syndrome (high functioning Autism) and Crohn’s Disease, and is a constant lesson in patience, acceptance and managing expectations. He’s super smart, loves video games, fencing, movies, building with legos, and hanging around the house. Like me, he believes that it’s all about him. Sometimes, I wonder if I don’t have Asperger’s, too. Oh, and he’s very handsome.

My daughter, 13, is so creative it’s scary- she loves to paint, draw manga and anima, build dioramas with any box she can get her hands on, create worlds with legos and then make movies with them, sculpt people, animals and objects with those little twist ties from the grocery store, does pottery, and wants to be a lifeguard. And she’s smart, too. And
beautiful, inside and out.

I write for a few hours in the evenings and on weekends as much as I can, without neglecting my family. (That laughter you hear is my husband) I attend a critique group, and do whatever the kids are into at the time.

RELEASE BLITZ - For You I Fall by TN Nova and Colette Davison


Book Title: For You I Fall
Series: Angels & Misfits Book 1
Author: T.N. Nova & Colette Davison
Publisher:  Self-Published
Cover Artist: Colette Davison
Editor: A.C. Minx
Genre/s:  MM, Paranormal, Gay Romance
Length:  78,000 words
It’s the first book of the series but can be read as a standalone story.
Buy Links

Sometimes you must fall before you can fly free.
Despite having had a rough life, Seth has a big heart. After spending nearly ten years sleeping rough on the streets of New York, he’s managed to get himself freelance work and a place to live. But his new found security is about to be torn apart, as the horrors of his past come back to haunt him in the worst possible way.
Dante was sent to watch over a young Seth when his mother died. As an angel, he had many rules to follow. The most important of which was to never fall in love—especially when it involves a human who is your charge. For the last ten years, Dante has kept his feelings for Seth hidden. That is until the night Seth’s past catches up with him.
When Seth is murdered, their destinies are changed forever. Feelings and emotions come to the surface, but will the rules that govern the afterlife keep Dante and Seth apart for eternity, or will they be able to find their happily ever after together?

 **Contains explicit language and scenes**

Seth kept the last cup of coffee, now barely lukewarm, for the man who always sat alone, distant from the rest. There was something about him that mesmerized Seth in a way he couldn’t describe. It was probably the man’s eyes, which were a vivid shade of blue that pierced even the darkest night. He sat on the same bench every night, huddled in a tatty black trench coat.
“Seth.” Blue Eyes nodded his thanks as he wrapped his hands around the cup Seth handed to him.
“It’s not very warm, I’m afraid.”
Blue Eyes shrugged, never taking his gaze off Seth as he sipped the coffee. His dark hair fell to his shoulders in waves, framing his handsome face. His olive skin tone made him appear healthier than the rest, although Seth was reasonably sure that was deceptive. A short beard and mustache helped further define his broad chin and sculpted cheekbones. Seth thought to ask his name, but couldn’t convince the question to leave his lips.
He was always like that around Blue Eyes: tongue-tied and awkward. The man was incredibly gorgeous, and Seth couldn’t help but be physically attracted to him. Maybe in another lifetime, under very different circumstances, he would have the confidence to ask Blue Eyes more about himself; discover the mysteries sparkling in the depths of his eyes. But things were what they were and showing interest in the man was wholly inappropriate. So, instead of asking Blue Eyes his name, he uttered a goodbye and turned to go.

About the Authors

T.N. Nova
T.N. Nova, Terri to her husband and Blazing Zane to her daughter, is the author of contemporary and paranormal gay romance. She's lived in the desert southwest all of her adult life, most recently in Phoenix.
Her guilty pleasures are Minecraft, music, geeky stuff, diet Dr. Pepper, and all things Thor and Loki. She's addicted, so now you know how to bribe her.

Colette Davison
Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairy tale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

Social Media Links

T.N. Nova

Colette Davison
Books With Heart ( Colette’s Street Team):

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PRE ORDER BLITZ - Nice Guys Don't Win (The Boys #2) by Micalea Smeltzer

Title: Nice Guys Don't Win Series: The Boys #2 Author: Micalea Smeltzer Genre: New Adult College Romance Release Date: May 19, 20...